Homemade Bagels

Making bagels at home was something I had always wanted to try.  Finding an easy to follow recipe was the trouble.  Over on Hubpages, someone had posted a tutorial complete with pictures.  It was a great help, and now I can make them very consistently.   Here is the recipe.  If you don’t follow the  instructions precisely, you will have some trouble, so pay close attention!


Fresh out of the oven!

Homemade bagels are better than any I ever buy in the store!

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbls sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 1 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps instant yeast
  • 1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dry ingredients before adding oil and water.  Use instant yeast and you don’t have to soak it first. The dough should feel stiff.  I start with 1 1/4 cups of water and slowly at the rest until the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
  2. Knead for about ten minutes on the counter, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
  3. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Take  each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together.  This is essential to make sure the dough is well fused, otherwise, your bagel will separate while boiling!!
  5. Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly with Olive oil spray.  I like to put the bagels over by the boiling pot of water as the steam will help them rise a little.  Not too close though!
  6. Pre heat your oven to 425.
  7. After the 20 minute wait, add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute.
  8. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
  9. Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they’re done!
  10. Let them cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

You can add any toppings you like to these. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels.


Patacones con Ajo y Limon

My kids love plantains.  I don’t.  However, one thing I can concede is when I make patacones, I always enjoy them.  Tonight we had a big

Patacones fresh out of the fryer.

Colombian feast, and I decided to treat them to plantains.  This recipe is cribbed from Secrets of Colombian Cooking.  If you want to try some great Colombian recipes, this is the best book out there!  I did these using a deep fryer, but they can also be done in a heavy pan, or probably even a cast iron skillet.


  • 2 green plantains
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 limes, quarted


  1. Before starting, combine salt, garlic and 1 cup water in a blender and blend thoroughly.  Set aside for use later in recipe.
  2. Cut off ends of plantains and peel.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Heat your oil to 350°
  4. Drop the plantain pieces into the deep fryer for 6-8 minutes.  Pour the salty garlic water blend into a bowl.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl lined with paper towels.
  6. Place a plantain piece on a piece of plastic wrap and fold the plastic wrap over
  7. Using a heavy pot, mash the plantain as thin as possible, preferably less than 1/4 inch.  Repeat process for all pieces.
  8. Take patacone and dip it in salty water for 3-5 seconds
  9. Place patacones back in deep fryer using slotted  spoon and fry for 3 minutes.
  10. Remove finished patacones to paper towel lined plate, and salt lightly.
  11. Serve with lime.

Cheesy Sausage Bean Bake

OK, this one is a single dad specialty.  Born of those days when you arrive home remembering that you forgot to put the roast in the slow cooker in the morning and all you have in the fridge is some pre-cooked sausage.  What to do?  Take your childhood pork and beans to an entirely new level with this Sausage Bean Bake and go to town.  This recipe is so customizable that I doubt it will be the same the next time I make it.  Serve it with some fresh baked corn bread to make it truly memorable!  File this recipe under your Easy Meal or Last Minute Meal tabs!


  • 1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 9 oz. (1/2 bottle) Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 14 oz. (6) cheddar smoked sausage
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Colby Jack cheese, shredded


  1. In an medium bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, and onion powder.  Mix thoroughly.
  2. Stir in beans and hominy, coating well
  3. Slice sausage into 1 inch pieces and stir in.  Pieces should be coated, but not swimming.  Add a little more BBQ sauce if needed.
  4. Transfer into a casserole dish
  5. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top and then cover with cheese to taste.
  6. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Here is a Super Bowl specialty that I cooked with our chicken fried steak for Super Bowl Sunday.  These mashed potatoes are rich and decadent. This is a recipe liberally adapted from Southern Living.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 5


  • 3 pounds baking potatoes
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese


  1. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook in a medium saucepan in boiling water to cover 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain and place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add cream cheese and next 4 ingredients
  3. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy (do not overbeat).
  4. Spoon into a lightly greased 9 inch- x 9-inch or 2-quart baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over top
  6. Bake, covered, at 325° for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated; garnish, if desired.

Note: Unbaked mashed potatoes may be chilled up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, and bake as directed.